Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida primary riddled with story lines, subplots

In today's statewide primary election, story lines and subplots abound.

Beyond the numbers and the winners and losers, here are five questions the primary results will answer:

A good night for Gaetz? Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, the next Senate president, is playing favorites and spending millions at a level not seen before in GOP Senate primaries, as he seeks to lock in his preferred line of succession to the presidency for six years. On Gaetz's must-win list are Aaron Bean in Jacksonville, Tom Lee in Hillsborough and Rep. John Legg, running in a new Pasco/Hillsborough Senate district.

Luck for Latvala? Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater, a Republican moderate who's battling to clinch his own Senate presidency in 2016, has a slate of must-win Senate candidates as well, led by Bean's opponent, Rep. Mike Weinstein, and Rep. Jim Frishe in a newly carved Pinellas/Hillsborough Senate district. (Latvala also backs Lee and Legg.)

A DLP dynasty? It would be highly unusual for three members of one family to be in the Legislature at the same time. Two Diaz de la Portilla brothers — DLP for short — are looking to make history as Alex and Renier, both former lawmakers, run for open House seats in Miami-Dade. A third brother, Miguel, has already been re-elected without opposition to the state Senate. "DLP Caucus" jokes can't be far away.

Mack's margin? Every poll shows U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV a heavy favorite to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The only suspense appears to be the size of his victory margin over three lesser-known and under-funded challengers. If Mack breaks 60 percent, he'll have some momentum. If he doesn't break 50, watch for Democrats to pounce.

Bound for Congress? Tuesday's election will, in effect, decide the outcomes of two heavily Republican congressional districts. In suburban Orlando, incumbent Reps. Sandy Adams and John Mica play musical chairs, with one relegated to retirement. And in Mack's old seat in Southwest Florida, six GOPers are in a free-for-all, including state House members Gary Aubuchon and Paige Kreegel, former local radio talk host Trey Radel and Chauncey Porter Goss, the son of Porter Goss, who used to represent the region in Congress.

• • •

Tampa Bay provides a neat laboratory in this expected low-turnout election, because of unresolved changes to the state election laws.

Pinellas, operating under the new law, had eight days of early voting, and Hillsborough, bound by the old law and awaiting preclearance required by the federal Voting Rights Act, had 14.

Sure enough, more than 10 times as many people voted early in Hillsborough (20,197) as in Pinellas (1,612).

But with Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark aggressively promoting absentee ballots with convenient dropoff sites, Pinellas has collected 88,314 absentees compared to Hillsborough's 33,309.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected]

Florida primary riddled with story lines, subplots 08/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What you need to know about Clearwater's $55 million waterfront plan

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — It's the most aggressive revitalization investment the city has proposed in years and somewhat of a Hail Mary strategy to give visitors a daily reason to come downtown. The $55 million Imagine Clearwater plan unveiled in February calls for reshaping Coachman Park and the waterfront to have more …

    Renderings of the city's $55 million Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment plan show the goal for the redeveloped waterfront. Much of the plan hinges on voters passing a Nov. 7 referendum question, which would allow for development on the Bluff.

  2. Philanthropist Helen DeVos, wife of Orlando Magic owner and mother of Betsy, dies at 90

    Obituaries

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90, her family said Thursday.

    Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, left, waves to fans while watching court side with his wife, Helen, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Orlando. The family of Helen DeVos said the philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts has died. She was 90. Her family said she died Wednesday, Oct. 18, of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia. [Associated Press]
  3. Authorities: A man named 'Cabbage' sold soap, not cocaine, to undercover detective

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER

    Authorities: A man named 'Cabbage' sold soap, not cocaine, to undercover detective

  4. Former Jabil executive again found guilty in 2008 double-murder

    Criminal

    Patrick Evans, the former Jabil executive charged with the deaths of his wife and her friend, was found guilty by a jury Wednesday night.

    Patrick Evans talks with Allison Miller, one of his three public defenders, before jury selection continues in his trial Wednesday 10/11/2017. Patrick Evans, a former Jabil executive charged with killing his estranged wife and her friend almost ten years ago, was back in court for a second trial after his original death sentence conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court.
  5. Hooper: After living through them, she pulls people out of credit woes

    Columns

    Atlanta, a place known for rising from the ashes of the Civil War to become an international city, proved to be a perfect backdrop for Artricia James-Heard's own rise from what she calls "a very vulnerable time in her life."

    Artricia James-Heard